For this week of Power Ratings, I have separated the NFC and AFC team into their own conference heading forward.
1. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are shaping up to be a dangerous playoff team in the NFC. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles struggle to stop the run and they do have some issues against opponents who can get home without blitzing. These happen to be two of the things San Francisco is best at. Of course, that is if Jimmy Garoppolo can avoid mistakes in critical situations. The way they looked and played last night against Arizona in Mexico City looks like the best team on both sides of the ball.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts saved the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, just days after he might have done it if not for some gaffes by teammates and the officials. As Hurts ascends into the conversation of elite NFL quarterbacks, he and the Eagles’ defense are carrying this club to the top of the NFC. The last two weeks have given other teams in the NFC lots of confidence after seeing the Eagles performances.
3. Dallas Cowboys
If the Dallas Cowboys took their previous matchup against Green Bay lightly, it was quickly made apparent they wouldn’t make the same mistake in Minnesota. Dallas overwhelmed the Vikings on both sides of the ball, delivering one of the best NFL performances in 2022. There are still a few questions that prevent the Cowboys from being viewed as the best team in the NFL, but they are in the running. Winning like that keeps GM and Owner Jerry Jones from making comments and the players play and the coaches coach.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There’s a feeling of optimism coming out of the bye week for Tampa Bay. Tom Brady and Byron Leftwich had the time they needed to make adjustments for the second half and we’ve seen more than enough to believe in this defense. Considering the NFC South is a cakewalk and Tom Brady is divorced, Tampa Bay can coast into a playoff spot. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brady doesn’t get that chip on his shoulder and another ring on his finger now that he’s in 100%.
5. Minnesota Vikings
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water and when fans started thinking about the Minnesota Vikings as a Super Bowl contender, the team delivers one of its worst performances in years. Everything that could go wrong did on Sunday. But was the game an anomaly or a Dallas team that exposed them? The fact is, the Vikings might literally burn the tape from this game. Unfortunately, things won’t get any easier as the Patriots’ pass rush is a nightmare matchup for Minnesota on a short week and consecutive losses would spell trouble in the NFC.